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“The Cut” is a weekly reporters notebook-type essay by an Ideastream Public Media content creator, reflecting on the news and on life in Northeast Ohio. What exactly does “The Cut” mean? It's a throwback to the old days of using a razor blade to cut analog tape. In radio lingo, we refer to sound bites as “cuts.” So think of these behind-the-scene essays as “cuts” from Ideastream's producers.

We promise to cover today's news, but we'll always make time for something special

Mike McIntyre in a red sweater talks at a microphone with a smart board beside him displaying the Cuyahoga County vote sign.
Ryan Loew
Ideastream Public Media
Ideastream Public Media Executive Editor Mike McIntyre discusses election coverage with the news staff.

At our daily morning news meeting, Ideastream Public Media editors and reporters begin to map out our day of coverage. There are a handful of planned events. Today, for example, Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen is in town and our Abigail Bottar will be there to chronicle the visit.

Often, we end the meeting with blank spaces on our story list. Reporters get to work on longer term stories or check in with their sources until news breaks, and it always does. Yesterday, for example, Matt Richmond worked to confirm a report that the man charged with monitoring the Cleveland Division of Police’s compliance with a federal consent decree was stepping down.

The day-to-day coverage of news in this town means being ready to change directions with no notice. And at times it can feel like drinking from a firehose. It’s exhausting and exhilarating.

This work requires a team effort that involves our content creators, our on-air hosts, our board operators and Glenn Forbes, our supervising producer of newscasts, coordinating with Deputy Editor of News Andrew Meyer to ensure we’re keeping our audience up to date on the radio, while Deputy Editor of Digital Annie Wu sweats our website and social media feeds.

It’s a lot. But it is not enough. We have an obligation to do much more than cover in-the-moment news at Ideastream Public Media. And so we work to free up our staff and contract with freelancers to produce special projects that serve the public and that are the hallmarks of public media.

While we’ve been covering the news this week, we’ve also published Episode 7 of our podcast, “Inside the Bricks: My Changing Neighborhood,” in which Justin Glanville, our senior producer of community storytelling, examines the impact of gentrification on his own Detroit-Shoreway neighborhood.

The capstone to that project will be a “Sound of Ideas Community Tour” conversation Justin will lead at 7 p.m. on Nov. 1 at The Happy Dog at 5801 Detroit Ave. “Sound of Ideas” Producer Drew Maziasz is busy lining up guests and determining the arc of conversation for that show.

At the same time, reporter Gabriel Kramer, who also has unique visual journalism talents, is putting the finishing touches on a documentary about this year’s winners of the Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards. He worked on it for months with Senior Reporter David C. Barnett, who recently retired (I know, we all mourn), and the doc is going to be something special. It debuts locally on WVIZ at 9 p.m. Nov. 3 and then will be distributed nationally.

Our “Morning Edition” Host Amy Eddings, who has been taking sporadic days off the air so she can concentrate on reporting, is in the homestretch of an hour-long radio documentary focusing on Ohio after Roe was overturned. It’s powerful storytelling and will air in January.

Finally, we’re all gearing up for the homestretch of the midterm elections. We’ll have stories and features online and on the air leading up to Election Day, and we’re putting all hands on deck in Northeast Ohio and in Columbus, with our Statehouse News Bureau, to bring you live coverage on the radio, along with NPR’s national coverage, and on our website on election night.

I hope you’ll tune in regularly to WKSU on the radio, our app or your smart speaker for the news you need to know in the moment and the special projects that make your listening experience worthwhile. It’s our privilege to bring it all to you.

"The Cut" is featured in Ideastream Public Media's weekly newsletter, The Frequency Week in Review. To get The Frequency Week in Review, The Daily Frequency or any of our newsletters, sign up on Ideastream's newsletter subscription page.

Mike McIntyre is the executive editor of Ideastream Public Media.